The situation in our Northern Areas is deteriorating, with the Nato forces eyeballing our men, who suffer from a similarity with the Taliban fighters, who use this similarity as a camouflage to mingle with the locals. The Taliban have been targeting and raiding the Nato forces in Afghanistan. Now with the Hot Pursuit credo in place we will see an escalation of the Nato attacks on Pakistani soil. Our Sovereignty is to be put to the test, by the farangis. Our leaders such as Hamid Gul must be asked, "Have the Taliban any respect for our borders or our laws?" Or the writ of our state. The same question must be put to our maulanas who are still grumbling about the Lal Masjid affair, which they have turned into a masterstroke of Public Relations. Converting a government land into a madressah, subsequently placing an administration of their own that obeyed no Pakistani laws, nor allowed any inspection and followed their own particular ethos. All this occurred within a mile of the presidency itself. Matters came to a head when they were confident enough to send vigilante groups out of their own premises, to begin raids on video shops and finally beauty parlours looking for brothels. They were effectively engaged in running a State within a State. Which is exactly what the militants have  established in Afghanistan and now in the Northern Areas. Their "enforcers" have ensured that their writ is obeyed more rigorously than that of the Government of Pakistan. In this sequence, the gradual establishment of the militants' rule is now coming up against the Nato forces who are in a minority in Afghanistan, and by virtue of their disparity in numbers find themselves having to bunker down, and unable to move freely, for this freedom of movement belongs to any warlord strong enough to establish his right The Pakistani government in the frontier even though democratically elected in February 2008, has conceded to the Pakistani army the governance of these areas. It will surely pit the Pakistani army against the Taliban directly, in Pakistan and not as previously between the Nato forces and Taliban with the Pakistani forces trying to ensure no collateral damage was inflicted on us. (Pakistan). As there is very little in Kabul to fight over or to destroy, and more important, the supply lines are getting more difficult to defend, the battleground is moving deeper into Pakistan, following the Taliban into their hideouts or villages. Pakistan will have to decide whether we can afford to live out the jihadi dream of a Talibanised Northern area or we should effectively bring an end to this slide into the dark ages. For such a Pakistan cannot exist alongside a modern economically developing world. Enough damage has been done to the infrastructure of the Northern areas, which were the most peaceful in the region, living under laws that had prevailed for centuries, and were left alone even by the British. Today, militants are imposing their writ of fear with savage bloodshed. Islamic law has nothing to do with the slitting of throats or the execution of women, but it spreads fear - very successfully. The Japanese and the Viet Cong used the same methods effectively, and they were not Muslims by any standard. This is the deterrence any ruler cherishes, for no number of cameras can equal the preventive effect of fear itself. The Taliban have found the answer: Limited bloodshed in public, for maximum effect. If at all the Muslim world should distance itself from such a barbaric behaviour. This then, is the way forward, for the Muslims to unite and to denounce the bloody mindset that has been used by terrorists to kill in the name of religion. This should be declared as kufr. The writer is a political analyst